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U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that Clayton Hall, 40, and Gregory D. Franklin, II, 43, both of Cleveland, were sentenced by Judge Donald C. Nugent to 30 years imprisonment each. A jury previously found both defendants guilty of drug trafficking and found Franklin guilty of firearms crimes.

“This sentence reflects the lengthy criminal history and incarceration records of both defendants,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “These men have had little time as an adult in which they were free and not pending new charges or in prison. Thanks to the hard work of federal law enforcement and the men and women of the Cleveland Division of Police Vice Units, these two career criminals will be behind bars for a long time.”

According to court documents, Hall and Franklin conspired together between February and April of 2019 to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues and cocaine. On February 4, 2019, Hall was arrested in possession of 24.36 grams of cocaine and a mixture of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. On March 28, 2019, Cleveland Police searched the residence where Hall had been trafficking narcotics and found more than 50 grams of various mixtures containing heroin and fentanyl as well as 12.25 grams crack cocaine. 

While Hall was detained pending county charges for those incidents and incidents in October and November of 2018, he used the jail phone system to call Franklin and coordinate further trafficking. Cleveland Police detectives found Franklin on April 30, 2019, and he was arrested with approximately 319.32 grams of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl analogues, as well as 527.59 grams of cocaine hidden under the center console of the vehicle he was driving.

Despite multiple prior felony convictions that prohibited him from possessing a firearm or ammunition, Franklin possessed a 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol and 21 rounds of 9mm ammunition, also concealed under the console. Those prior convictions include two first-degree drug trafficking with firearm specifications and a conviction for felonious assault of a peace officer. 

The sentence comes after courtroom proceedings emphasized both Hall and Franklin’s “career offender” criminal histories. Hall’s criminal history includes 22 adult criminal convictions. During previous jail sentences, Hall committed approximately 86 rule violations, including possessing and using drugs in prison and assaulting an officer. 

Franklin’s criminal history includes 15 adult criminal convictions. One of those convictions was for a 2012 incident with facts similar to the circumstances of his April 2019 arrest—heroin and a firearm found concealed under the center console of the vehicle he was driving.

This case was investigated by the Cleveland Division of Police Second District Vice Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elliot Morrison and Bryson N. Gillard.

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